# Commutative Property of Multiplication

**Commutative property of multiplication**:

` huge color(purple)(a times b=b times a) `

What does it mean?

It means, that order of numbers doesn't matter.

Indeed, as can be seen from illustration, we can count there are 3 circles in a row, and there are 2 rows, so total number of squares is `3times2=6`.

From another side, we can rotate picture and count circles in another way: 3 rows, and in each row 2 circles: `2times3=6`.

**Warning**: it doesn't work with division, i.e. `a/b!=b/a`.

For example, `3/2!=2/3`.

However, commutative property of multiplication works for negative numbers (in fact, for real numbers) as well.

**Example 1**. `3 times (-4)=(-4) times 3=-12`.

**Example 2**. `(-2.51) times (-3.4)=(-3.4) times (-2.51)`.

**Example 3**. `-5/8 times 2/3=(-5/8) times 2/3=-5/12`.

**Conclusion**. So, the basic rule here is following: whenever you see multiplication, you can interchange factors.